Saturday, 18 November 2017 - 16:49
Sri Lanka takes control of Kolkata Test


Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews compiled contrasting fifties and shared a 99-run partnership that put Sri Lanka in the ascendancy of the Kolkata Test, cutting their deficit to just 7 by stumps on the third day.

They were united with the score on 34 for 2 but neither batsman chose to counterattack considering the plausibility of one delivery beating their defences.

They left well and allowed themselves to be beaten several times by playing the line, not pushing their hands too far in front of them. Soon, India's seamers erred, looking for more than was required, with half-volleys and short and wide offerings and the boundaries flowed.

Just like for Sri Lanka, India's seamers generated lateral movement from the outset. Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced swing both ways, while Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav used seam off the pitch.

Despite sufficient movement, Sadeera Samarawickrama, promoted to open, batted fluently. Displaying a compact technique and languid elegance, he struck three fours on either side of the wicket in his 23. But continuing to hit through the line with the ball hooping just enough was an approach fraught with risk. Bhuvneshwar duly found his outside edge as he played away from his body.

Thirimanne and Mathews then swung the game in Sri Lanka's favour. Still, on this surface, they needed luck. Bhuvneshwar kept penetrating Mathews' inside edge, hitting him on both pads.

A shorter length, though, meant he survived lbw shouts due to the extra bounce. Umesh even found Thirimanne's outside edge, but Shikhar Dhawan spilled a simple catch at first slip.

Just after tea though, Umesh found not only his rhythm but pace too. An inswinger from around the wicket held its line, found Thirimanne's outside edge and carried low to Virat Kohli's left at second slip, who hung onto a sharp chance.

Then, Mathews lost his concentration. He chipped a catch to cover, his balance thrown off completely by a transfer of weight on the back foot, anticipating a shorter length.

With the light fading and the ball continuing to move, Dinesh Chandimal was repeatedly beaten on both edges during his 33-ball scrap. His battle was temporarily halted shortly after 4 pm local when bad light forced early stumps for the third straight day.

Earlier, resuming on 5 for 74, India were bowled out for 172 runs in their first innings.

Scorecard: At stumps on day 3

India 172 all out (Pujara 52, Lakmal 4-26)

Sri Lanka 165 for 4 (Mathews 52, Thirimanne 51, Dickwella 14*, Chandimal 13*)
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